Woodson Research Center, Rice University

Guide to the Wheatfield and St. Elmo's Fire collection, 1970-2014 MS 645



creator mus Calvert, Craig
creator mus Mims, Connie
creator mus Grimwood, Keith
creator mus Idlet, Ezra
creator mus Russell, Bob
creator mus Hevia, Damian
creator chr Clouser, James
creator mus Bell, Vince
creator Wheatfield
creator St. Elmo's Fire
Title: Wheatfield and St. Elmo's Fire collection
Dates: 1970-2014
Abstract: This collection consists of correspondence, photographs, scrapbooks, schedules, and other items chronicling the musical history of Wheatfield and St. Elmo's Fire.
Identification: MS 645
Quantity: 10.5 Linear Feet(7 boxes)
Quantity: 46.3 GigabytesNearline access: MS0645aip_001 (46.3 GB)
Quantity: 0.63 GigabytesNearline access: MS0645aip_002 (0.63 GB)
Quantity: 70.9 GigabytesNearline access: MS0645aip_003 (70.9 GB)
Quantity: 0.96 GigabytesNearline access: MS0645aip_004 (0.96 GB)
Quantity: 29.6 GigabytesNearline access: MS0645aip_005 (29.6 GB)
Quantity: 0.41 GigabytesNearline access: MS0645aip_006 (0.41 GB)
Quantity: 28.6 GigabytesNearline access: MS0645aip_007 (28.6 GB)
Quantity: 0.41 GigabytesNearline access: MS0645aip_008 (0.41 GB)
Quantity: 147 GigabytesNearline access: MS0645aip_009 (147 GB)
Quantity: 1.94 GigabytesNearline access: MS0645aip_010 (1.94 GB)
Quantity: 49.8 GigabytesNearline access: MS0645aip_011 (49.8 GB)
Quantity: 0.68 GigabytesNearline access: MS0645aip_012 (0.68 GB)
Quantity: 210 GigabytesNearline access: MS0645aip_013 (210 GB)
Quantity: 2.75 GigabytesNearline access: MS0645aip_014 (2.75 GB)
Quantity: 45.3 GigabytesNearline access: MS0645aip_015 (45.3 GB)
Quantity: 0.62 GigabytesNearline access: MS0645aip_011 (0.62 GB)
Language: English
Repository: Woodson Research Center, Rice University, Houston, Texas

Biographical / Historical

At Lamar High School in Houston, TX in the early 1970s, two friends, Craig Calvert and Cris “Ezra” Idlet started a duo. The duo was called Neat Stuff. It was short lived. Craig and Ezra went their separate ways By the end of the summer of 1972. In 1973 they added classmate Connie Mims to form a trio. Wheatfield, began playing country-tinged folk music, mainly covers, in small venues like Tanney’s and Steak and Ale.

In 1974, they added Bob Russell, string bass, who they met after a trip to the Virgin Islands. The following year Wheatfield began making a name for themselves in Houston, playing at universities, like Rice and University of Houston, as well as making appearances on local TV.

By 1974, Wheatfield added another musician, Damian Hevia, drums/percussion. That year, they performed at Liberty Hall and the Kerrville Folk Festival.

1976 was the year that Wheatfield made changes to its sound and its name. They began adding electric instruments and added more of a jazz twist to their sound. After receiving a letter from an Oregon band that claimed to own the name “Wheatfield,” the band changed theirs to St. Elmo’s Fire. At the time, they were working with James Clouser of the Houston Ballet to score the rock ballet "Caliban." The ballet based on Shakespeare’s "The Tempest" influenced their new name. The ballet premiered in May 1976 to rave reviews and later travelled to Dallas and Chicago. It even came back to Jones Hall the following year.

St. Elmo’s Fire enjoyed other successes that year. Notably, they performed on the newly begun "Austin City Limits" TV show, toured in Colorado, and played at Miller Outdoor Theater alongside the first cast of "Saturday Night Live." In the fall, Bob Russell left the band and Keith Grimwood replaced him on bass and vocals.

Throughout the next year, the band continued to tour. They scored another rock ballet for Clouser, "Rasputin," which premiered in April 1977. They attended the NECCA convention in San Antonio to increase their national publicity. By the next year, they kept booking gigs across Texas and beyond as well performed at Houston’s Sidewalk Symphony, Rockefeller’s, and the Texas Opry House.

Despite all of this success, St. Elmo’s Fire never secured a recording contract from a major music label, which limited their options for venues and TV performances. Eventually, this fact took a toll on the band. Craig Calvert left in July 1979 and was replaced by Mike Sunjka. The band disbanded later that year.

In the 1980s-1990s, St. Elmo’s Fire reunited for gigs at Fitzgerald’s and other places in Houston. Around 2004, Craig Calvert, Ezra Idlet, Connie Mims, and Keith Grimwood officially reunited as Wheatfield and released albums in 2004, 2008 and 2014. They play shows throughout Texas, Arkansas and Missouri.


Scope and Contents

This collection contains correspondence, photographs, scrapbooks, schedules, and other items chronicling the musical history of Wheatfield and St. Elmo's Fire. It also includes items from Craig Calvert's other collaborations: Calvert Bell, CPR, Craig Calvert and Alter Ego, Monday Night Live, Hotcakes, Murphy's In-Laws, and The Sweaters.


Restrictions

Conditions Governing Access

Stored off-site at the Library Service Center. Please request this material via woodson@rice.edu or call 713-348-2586.

Conditions Governing Access

This material is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to publish from this material must be obtained from the members of Wheatfield.


Index Terms

Folk music
Folk-rock music

Related Materials

Please see the Rice University KTRU Radio records, UA 011.


Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Wheatfield and St. Elmo's Fire collection, 1970-2014, MS 645, Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library, Rice University

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by Craig Calvert in January 2016.

Accruals

Additional materials are expected for this collection.


Detailed Description of the Collection

Series I: Alphabetical Files

Box Folder
1 1 "Austin City Limits" 1976
2 "Caliban" 1976-1978
3 Calvert Bell (photographs) 1979-1980
4 Correspondence 1974-1982
5 CPR (Calvert, Powell, Resnick) (photographs) 1980s
6 Entertainers Information Guild 1977
7 Fliers ca. 1977
8 "The Lamb: The Alternative Music Magazine" 1974-04, 1976-06
9 Lyrics n.d.
10 Memorabilia ca. 1976
11 Name change research 1976
12 NEC South Central Regional Conference 1976-11
13 News clips 1975-2009
14 Promotional materials ca. 1977, 1999, 2008
15 "Rasputin" 1977
16 Schedules 1976-1979
17 Set lists n.d.



Series II: Photographs

Box Folder
1 18 Negatives and slides 1976-1979
19 Negatives by Bob Burton 1976
20 Photographs 1973-1980s, 2008



Series III: Audio and Video

Box
2 Craig Calvert and Ezra Idlet demos (reel-to-reel audio) ca. 1973
Wheatfield at the Gallows (reel-to-reel audio) 1973-11
Wheatfield, Friday Night Session (reel-to-reel audio) 1973-11
Wheatfield live at KPFT (reel-to-reel audio) 1974-08-01
Wheatfield live at the Refectory, Houston, TX (reel-to-reel audio) 1975-01
"Austin City Limits" (3/4" U-matic video cassettte and digital version) 1976-02-27
"Austin City Limits" avi version
"Austin City Limits" mp4 version
Scope and Contents
These digitized video files consist of one master copy avi and one access copy mp4.
St. Elmo's Fire demos (cassette tape) 1976-1979
St. Elmo's Fire live in Huntsville, TX (reel-to-reel audio) 1976-11-15
"Caliban" - Dallas Ballet (CD or DVD) 1977-09-17
"Caliban" - Dallas Ballet (DVD) 1977-09-17
"Caliban" - Dallas Ballet (1/2" reel-to-reel video tape and digitized version) 1977-09-17
"Caliban" - Dallas Ballet avi version
"Caliban" - Dallas Ballet mp4 version
Scope and Contents
These digitized video files consist of one master copy avi and one access copy mp4.
"Caliban," acts 1-3 - Dallas Ballet, (3 reel-to-reel audio tapes) 1977-09-17
Dallas Ballet - "Caliban," "Carmina Burana," "Surprise Symphony" (VHS and digitized version) 1977-09-17
Dallas Ballet - "Caliban," "Carmina Burana," "Surprise Symphony" avi version
Dallas Ballet - "Caliban," "Carmina Burana," "Surprise Symphony" mp4 version
Scope and Contents
These digitized video files consist of one master copy avi and one access copy mp4.
"Green Room" show - KUHT, KPRC show (3/4" U-matic video cassette and digitized version) 1977
"Green Room" show - KUHT, KPRC show avi version
"Green Room" show - KUHT, KPRC show mp4 version
Scope and Contents
These digitized video files consist of one master copy avi and one access copy mp4.
St. Elmo's Fire Interviews with Keith Grimwood and Ezra Idlet (VHS and digitized version) 1978-09-07, 1978-02-13
St. Elmo's Fire Interviews with Keith Grimwood and Ezra Idlet avi version
"Little Ol' Show - St. Elmo's Fire" mp4 file
Scope and Contents
These digitized video files consist of one master copy avi and one access copy mp4.
"Little Ol' Show" (3/4" U-matic video cassette and digitized version) 1978-02-15
"Little Ol' Show - St. Elmo's Fire" avi file
"Little Ol' Show - St. Elmo's Fire" mp4 file
Scope and Contents
These digitized video files consist of one master copy avi and one access copy mp4.
Boondocks live - Austin, TX - KLBJ (cassette tape) 1978-02
Boondocks outtakes - Austin, TX - KLBJ (cassette tape) 1978-02
Master demos (reel-to-reel audio) 1978
Scope and Contents
Contains the songs "Anything to Make It" and "Another Twist"
Master demos (reel-to-reel audio) 1979
Scope and Contents
Contains the songs "5th Floor Walkup," "With a Heart," and "Black Jack."
Calvert Bell live at Fitzgerald's, Houston, TX (reel-to-reel audio) 1979-09-08
Calvert Bell - "Little Ol' Show" (3/4" U-matic video cassette and digital version) 1979-09
"Little Ol' Show" - Calvert Bell avi format
"Little Ol' Show" - Calvert Bell mp4 format
Scope and Contents
These digitized video files consist of one master copy avi and one access copy mp4.
"Bermuda Triangle" (1/2" reel-to-reel video tape and digitized version) 1980
"Bermuda Triangle" run-thru avi version
"Bermuda Triangle" run-thru mp4 version
Scope and Contents
These digitized video files consist of one master copy avi and one access copy mp4.
"Bermuda Triangle" (VHS) 1980
"Second Chances" (CD) 2008
"Big Texas Sky" (CD) 2014



Series IV: Oversized Materials

Box
3 Wheatfield scrapbook 1972-06-1975-05
Wheatfield scrapbook 1975-04-1975-07
Box
4 Wheatfield and St. Elmo's Fire scrapbook 1973-1977
Wheatfield and St. Elmo's Fire scrapbook 1973-12-27-1977-03
Box
5 St. Elmo's Fire scrapbook 1977-02-25-1978-12-23
Box
6 Wheatfield scrapbook (2 CDs) 2004-05-18-2007-01-14
Scrapbook (4 CDs) 1991-07-28-2009-04-29
Scope and Contents
This scrapbook contains items from Craig Calvert's other music groups: Hotcakes, Fink's Mules, Murphy's In-Laws, CPR, and Calvert & Mims.
Box
7 St. Elmo's Fire scrapbook 1978-04-15-1991-06-16
Scope and Contents
This scrapbook contains items from St. Elmo's Fire, Calvert Bell, CPR, the Craig Calvert Group, Craig Calvert and Alter Ego, Alter Ego, Monday Night Live, Hotcakes, The Sweaters, and Fink's Mules.
Wheatfield bumper sticker ca. 1974
Wheatfield logo - Letratone sheet ca. 1974
Sweetheart of Texas concert poster 1975-5
St. Elmo's Fire - Cullen Auditorium poster 1977-07-30
Publicity photograph ca. 1977
St. Elmo's Fire Armadillo poster ca. 1978
"Bermuda Triangle" poster 1980-05
"Austin City Limits" handkerchief 2000